Monday, November 16, 2009

How Meaningful Are User Ratings?

In the spirit of some earlier posts on this blog, The Scholarly Kitchen (an excellent blog for those interested in following issues of open access publishing) has this post about the utility of ratings systems at journals such as PLoS ONE. Interesting food for thought.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...
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archosaurmusings said...

A very late 2c on here Andy - I think these ratings are meaningless. At best they can turn into a popularity contest at worst they can be actively misleading (or at least vulnerable to vote rigging).
I'll read (or at least start to read) any paper at all that falls into my sphere of interest. If I think it's a bad paper, I'll be careful how I interpret it or I might stop reading.

I know what I think (or I *want* to know what I think), and I don't care what others think. I can tell a good paper from a bad one, and no rating system is going to help me make that judgement, nor do I suspect, would most others. Would any researcher really not read a paper in their field just because it had 2 stars attached to it?